Clinical service organisation for heart failure

  • Takeda A
  • Taylor S
  • Taylor R
  • et al.
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Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a serious, common condition associated with frequent hospitalisation. Several different disease management interventions (clinical service organisation interventions) for patients with CHF have been proposed. To update the previously published review which assessed the effectiveness of disease management interventions for patients with CHF. A number of databases were searched for the updated review: CENTRAL, (the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) and DARE, on The Cochrane Library, ( Issue 1 2009); MEDLINE (1950-January 2009); EMBASE (1980-January 2009); CINAHL (1982-January 2009); AMED (1985-January 2009). For the original review (but not the update) we had also searched: Science Citation Index Expanded (1981-2001); SIGLE (1980-2003); National Research Register (2003) and NHS Economic Evaluations Database (2001). We also searched reference lists of included studies for both the original and updated reviews. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with at least six months follow up, comparing disease management interventions specifically directed at patients with CHF to usual care. At least two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality. Study authors were contacted for further information where necessary. Data were analysed and presented as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Twenty five trials (5,942 people) were included. Interventions were classified by: (1) case management interventions (intense monitoring of patients following discharge often involving telephone follow up and home visits); (2) clinic interventions (follow up in a CHF clinic) and (3) multidisciplinary interventions (holistic approach bridging the gap between hospital admission and discharge home delivered by a team). The components, intensity and duration of the interventions varied, as did the 'usual care' comparator provided in different trials.Case management interventions were associated with reduction in all cause mortality at 12 months follow up, OR 0.66 (95% CI 0.47 to 0.91, but not at six months. No reductions were seen for deaths from CHF or cardiovascular causes. However, case management type interventions reduced CHF related readmissions at six month (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.88, P = 0.007) and 12 month follow up (OR 0.47, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.76). Impact of these interventions on all cause hospital admissions was not apparent at six months but was at 12 months (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.99, I(2) = 58%).   CHF clinic interventions (for six and 12 month follow up) revealed non-significant reductions in all cause mortality, CHF related admissions and all cause readmissions. Mortality was not reduced in the two studies that looked at multidisciplinary interventions. However, both all cause and CHF related readmissions were reduced (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.46-0.69, and 0.45, 95% CI 0.28-0.72, respectively).  Amongst CHF patients who have previously been admitted to hospital for this condition there is now good evidence that case management type interventions led by a heart failure specialist nurse reduces CHF related readmissions after 12 months follow up, all cause readmissions and all cause mortality.  It is not possible to say what the optimal components of these case management type interventions are, however telephone follow up by the nurse specialist was a common component.Multidisciplinary interventions may be effective in reducing both CHF and all cause readmissions. There is currently limited evidence to support interventions whose major component is follow up in a CHF clinic.




Takeda, A., Taylor, S. J., Taylor, R. S., Khan, F., Krum, H., & Underwood, M. (2012). Clinical service organisation for heart failure. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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